This December will mark the second anniversary of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s release, the movie that concluded both the Sequel Trilogy that launched in 2015, as well as the Skywalker Saga as a whole. As with a lot of things in the Star Wars franchise, opinions range on the quality of the Sequel Trilogy, but it looks like we can count Marcia Lucas, one of the editors on Star Wars: A New Hope and ex-wife of creator George Lucas, among its detractors. In fact, she went so far as to call The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker “terrible.”
Marica Lucas’ opinions about the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy came to light when she was interviewed for Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life (via Indiewire), a book by the late J.W. Rinzler focusing on the producer who worked The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, among other things. But during the interview, which took place between the releases of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams, who helmed Episodes VII and IX, came up, and Lucas subsequently revealed why she doesn’t like the Sequel Trilogy. In her words:
Marcia Lucas was an integral contributor to the original Star Wars trilogy, having shared editing duties on A New Hope with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew, as well as editing Return of the Jedi with Sean Barton and Duwayne Dunham (she also did uncredited work on The Empire Strikes Back). Furthermore, it was her idea for Obi-Wan Kenobi to die in his duel with Darth Vader and continue mentoring Luke Skywalker as a spirit, as opposed to survive the conflict with the Sith Lord. Fast-forward several decades, Lucas isn’t pleased with what Disney has done with the Star Wars property, and takes particular umbrage with Han Solo being killed off.
For what it’s worth, Harrison Ford did have the idea of having Han Solo die in Return of the Jedi, and while that obviously didn’t come to pass, Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams (along with some assistance from then-Disney CEO Bob Iger) decided for the character to meet such a fate in The Force Awakens. But it wasn’t just Han’s death that bothered Marcia Lucas; she also took issue with the Sequel Trilogy did with Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, among other things. As she put it:
While Marcia Lucas certainly isn’t the only one who was bothered by Luke Skywalker dying in The Last Jedi, let’s not forget that it was Rian Johnson who delivered that narrative beat, not JJ Abrams. And as far as Lucas’ comments on Rey go, we did ultimately learn that Daisy Ridley’s character was the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, but even if that hadn’t happened, there are countless Jedi/Sith/Force-sensitive characters who are powerful regardless of familial ties. Still, I suspect even if Lucas were to be asked about her thoughts on the Sequel Trilogy now, nearly two years separated from The Rise of Skywalker, she’d feel the same way.
The film side of the Star Wars franchise is still on a break, but fans can look forward to Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron hitting theaters on December 22, 2023. In the meantime, there’s plenty of Star Wars TV shows to keep us occupied, including the anime series Visions arriving this week and The Book of Boba Fett coming in December.
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